Substantial evidence has emerged on the presence of several non-tribal Trinamool Congress leaders and workers, including elected panchayat members, at what was described as an exclusive “tribal court” in Labhpur in Birbhum district of West Bengal that subjected a tribal girl to gangrape as punishment for allegedly marrying a Muslim boy.
One of the signatories to the decree that dissolved the girl’s marriage with a Muslim youth of a neighbouring village was Ajoy Mondal, a TMC elected panchayat member who is said to be absconding.
There were also demands from several quarters in Labhpur to round up Chouhatta-Mahodari village panchayat pradhan Mohammed Firoze, who was allegedly fully aware of the torture meted out to the girl and was said to be present during the proceedings.
According to sources in the TMC, the party leadership is said to have directed Ajoy Mondal and Firoze to tender their resignation to the party and panchayat as soon as evidence against them is furnished before the party leadership. The court was said to have been headed and conducted by the tribal chief of the village, Balai Maddi who, along with another TMC worker Debraj Mondal were named in the gangrape FIR.
TMC district secretary of Birbhum, Sailen Mahato was on Friday summoned to the TMC headquarters in Kolkata. “I am waiting for the decision of the party. Now I am going to Kolkata,” he said.
There were also reports that TMC workers who were arrested in the gangrape case lodged are followers of Labhpur TMC MLA, Manirul Islam. Islam rushed to the spot from Kolkata on Wednesday after the complaint was lodged by the tribal victim.
TMC general secretary Mukul Roy on Friday admitted: “We have started an inquiry to see whether our party members and workers were present at the Kangaroo court. The member of the panchayat Ajoy Mondal whose name has cropped up will also be interrogated… If our member’s involvement is found, then the party would take strong action…. the message from CM Mamata Banerjee is clear — No one would be spared.”
The TMC leadership was said to be waiting to see if there was evidence of involvement of non-tribal TMC panchayat members and TMC party supporters at what they said was a “tribal court” in which they could not have intervened.